PUBLIC NOT TO KNOW HOW VALE COUNCILLORS VOTE

Penarth Vale Labour councillors voting en-bloc in the Vale planning committee - but how they voted is not minuted or recorded anywhere.

“Hands up” : Penarth Vale Labour councillors voting en-bloc in the Vale planning committee by a show of hands. The votes are counted  – but how each councillor voted is not minuted, written down or recorded anywhere  – and no one can check-up on their decisions . The CCTV cameras do not cover the whole chamber simultaneously – so there’s no complete video record either . 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council is not to start making a formal record of how each individual councillor votes on planning applications coming before the council’s planning committee.

Currently, votes by members of the planning committee on planning applications are  carried out  on casual “hands-up basis” . How each councillor votes is not formally noted.

The decision means that local residents will continue to be unable to check-up on how any particular councillor has cast his or her vote on  planning matters and cannot check-up on the voting record of specific councillors.

Thumbs up for secrecy : Cllr Neil Moore (Labour Cadoc Ward, Barry) Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council

Thumbs up for secrecy : Cllr Neil Moore (Labour Cadoc Ward, Barry) Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council

The leader of the Labour-run Vale Council Cllr Neil Moore (Cadoc Ward, Barry) had been asked by Cllr Val Hartrey (Plaid Cymru) whether – “in the interests of transparency” he would consider a change to the council’s constitution  to ensure that the vote of each councillor on council’s planning committee was recorded.

Cllr Hartrey’s request was rebuffed. Cllr Moore claimed Cllr Hartrey had already supported referring the matter to the council’s “Democratic Services Committee” .

He’s told a meeting of the full council that a review of the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s constitution had only recently been completed and that “given that the review was so comprehensive, and so recent”  no change to the process regarding the recording of votes was recommended . [ i.e. nobody will write down how each councillor voted ].

Cllr Moore says it will be a matter for the Democratic Services Committee to consider, and determine, whether – in future –  it wishes to recommend any changes. If the committee was to recommend any change (which it isn’t) then that recommendation would, in turn,  need to be considered by full council.

 

About NewsNet

Penarth Daily News email address dmj@newsnet.uk . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time.
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9 Responses to PUBLIC NOT TO KNOW HOW VALE COUNCILLORS VOTE

  1. Christopher David says:

    Ahh how unfortunate- leaving themselves open to criticism, that dodgy dealings could in theory be going on. Anyway, shouldn’t the electorate know what the personal policy, of individual councillors is regarding planning ?

  2. Anne Greagsby says:

    Does this mean you can no longer ask for a recorded vote?

    • newsnet says:

      In the Vale of Glamrogan Council “if six Members present at the meeting demand, the names for and against the Motion or Amendment or abstaining from voting will be taken down in writing and entered into the minutes.”

  3. Andrew Worsley says:

    If they don’t like being held to account , don’t vote for them , we live in a democracy this body of people are a bad joke , so inept and unfit for the job they now find a way to block accountability . Do these people know who their bosses are ??? we the people, do they know who they are accountable to ?, we the people. Its not up to the Council to manipulate the situation to avoid anyone being able to access their track record and their individual judgement regarding planning or any other matter, in the first place. Remember no accountability , no job next time they ask for your vote , they are your servants not vice versa and they get paid from YOUR MONEY without that they have nothing . What boss would allow his employee to make errors and mistakes and not be aware of them ? none unless the boss is as devious and dodgy as they are, strangely enough this does happen . No clarity no job should be the answer in this particular case as in others .

    • Chris says:

      I agree, councillors need to be held to account. Have conviction of your beliefs, even if it is unpopular with the voters. Be accountable for your actions, after all that’s why you were voted in to represent us.

  4. Kevin Mahoney says:

    On 27th April this year at full council I had a motion defeated that called for altering the constitution so that just one councillor can call for a recorded vote instead of the 6 required at present.

    The motion was defeated 42 vote to my one.

    Val Hartrey voted against my attempt at transparency and two of her plaid colleagues Chris Franks and Nic Hodges spoke at length against passing my proposal.

    So I wouldn’t put too much store in plaid’s nor Val Hartreys so called attempt at more transparent democracy after she opposed my own attempt just a month or so previously.

    A Democratic services committee chaired by her plaid colleague Nic Hodges has since also dismissed my proposal for greater transparency.

    It seems to me that many councillors seem quite happy that their voting record is not logged, in order that they can be questioned on it by ward and Vale residents.

    I’m not one of them, and am quite happy to have all my votes recorded automatically so that I can justify my voting record.

    Kevin Mahoney

    Cllr Sully and Lavernock ward

  5. Paul says:

    If we knew what individuals did then perhaps we would vote them out at elections. Can’t have that, far better to keep the electorate in the dark and repeat the “our party good, their party bad” mantra endlessly. I’m sure that there are good people of both sides but if we don’t know what they do, then we can’t make a real decision at election time. Transparency is the nemesis of some of our councils and they will fight it until their dying breath.

  6. Ivor Bagman says:

    Perhaps they need
    Opening medicine –
    Or am I being too
    Pugnacious ?

  7. Tim Hughes says:

    I can honestly say that having voted it every general election since I was eligible I have never needed to look at how my candidate voted on any issue. Perhaps the other contributers can give some examples of where this 3rd party supplied information has been of use to them.

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